The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Feb. 10: CAN ANIMALS PREDICT THE WEATHER? ANIMAL PROVERBS

CAN ANIMALS PREDICT THE WEATHER? ANIMAL PROVERBS

PREDICTING WEATHER WITH ANIMALS
Observe animals and you’ll see that they, too, have their own ways of predicting weather. Here are some animal weather proverbs and prognostics.

CAN COWS FORECAST WEATHER?

Perhaps the most folklore is about cows. Certainly, their bodies are affected by changes in air pressure.  This is also true of sheep, cats, and other animals.

  • If a cow stands with its tail to the west, the weather is said to be fair.
  • If a cow grazes with its tail to the east, the weather is likely to turn sour.

This is some true here. Animals graze with their tail toward the wind so that if a predator sneaks up behind them, the wind will help catch the scent of the predator and prevent an attack. The cow’s prediction might also be wrong during a hurricane

OBSERVING ANIMALS TO PREDICT RAIN

  • Expect rain when dogs eat grass, cats purr and wash, sheep turn into the wind, oxen sniff the air, and swine are restless.
  • If the bull leads the cows to pasture, expect rain; if the cows precede the bull, the weather will be uncertain.
  • When cats sneeze, it is a sign of rain.
  • When cattle lie down in the pasture, it indicates early rain.
  • When horses and cattle stretch out their necks and sniff the air, it will rain.

 

CAN ANIMALS PREDICT WINTER WEATHER?

  • Woolly bear caterpillars are said to be winter weather predictors: The more brown they have on their bodies, the milder winter will be.
  • If the mole digs its hole 2½ feet deep, expect severe weather; if two feet deep, not so severe; if one foot deep, a mild winter.
  • When pigs gather leaves and straw in fall, expect a cold winter.
  • When rabbits are fat in October and November, expect a long, cold winter.

 

OTHER WEATHER FOLKLORE

  • If sheep ascend hills and scatter, expect clear weather.
  • Bats flying late in the evening indicates fair weather.
  • Wolves always howl more before a storm.

LEARN MORE

Birds and insects may be the best weather predictors of them all.

Did you know that you can also predict the temperature by measuring how often crickets chirp?

Also, check out this great video to learn more about how animals predict the weather.

Published on The Old Farmer’s Almanac

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